As 2018 comes to a close, I find myself reflecting on how many amazing people there are in the Cariboo-Chilcotin who give so much to enrich the lives of others, and yet receive so little recognition in return.
One such person is Stan McCarthy, Chief of the 150 Mile Fire Department.
Stan is a gentleman, a loving husband, father and grandfather who works tirelessly for all of his community and so many others.
Stan has been chief since the 1990s and before that was a founding father of the department.
During his leadership, he has helped create a vibrant team with an emphasis on protecting fellow firefighters with the best training and safety programs available.
When wildfires were threatening Kelowna in 2003, Stan was among so many brave firefighters from throughout the province who travelled there to help keep people safe.
When things are a little quieter during the winter, Stan plows and maintains a skating rink at the fire hall to give kids (and their parents) a special opportunity to have fun and socialize.
The same applies at Halloween when the community gets together and samples his signature speciality — BBQ hot dogs.
In 2017, when the community needed him most, Stan’s leadership skills were put to the test when wildfires surrounded communities in the Williams Lake and 150 Mile House areas.
Stan and his crew were on duty for weeks and because of their determined efforts, many homes were saved. They even made sure visiting structural firefighters felt hometown hospitality that whole time.
When asked when he might consider retiring, he is quick to answer “probably never.”
Stan, on behalf of the whole community, it was my honour to nominate you for the B.C. Medal of Good Citizenship.